Brides still waiting on wedding photos months after wedding
LAFAYETTE - Dozens of brides all over the country are missing their wedding photos and videos. They called 2 On Your Side after hiring a Lafayette-based wedding photographer who they say took their money and didn't deliver the product he promised.
Melissa Quintel says she hired Tregg Istre of 63 Films to take photos of her wedding in Washington State. She paid him in full and says he drove to capture her small wedding.
"My dad walking me down the aisle was probably one of the most important pictures," says Quintel.
It's an image she fears she'll never see after she paid him $5,000. Quintel says Istre sent her eight photos two days after her wedding and then communication stopped.
"Why do such a good job, hire us, come up and do all this stuff and not give anyone photos or their videos," she said.
Quintel quickly found she wasn't alone. There are dozens of poor reviews online dating back to early 2016. "They stole my money and my memories," says one review on weddingwire.com. "Does not respond to messages, calls or email," says another.
Quintel joined a Facebook group with about 250 members, all people she says had similar experiences with Istre and 63 Films. Hallie Landry started the Facebook group after her experience but considers herself lucky. After hiring a lawyer, Landry got her wedding photos months after her wedding. She says a judge awarded her all the raw video footage and a full refund, but Landry's still waiting for the money.
"I don't have my wedding video of me and my husband, that's the worst," said Landry.
Thursday afternoon, 2 On Your Side spoke with Istre. He says work has been piling up since his team of photographers recently left and he took over the work himself. Istre issued an apology to the brides that are waiting.
"I'm absolutely 100 percent sorry that we got behind," said Istre. "Projects are still being knocked out and delivered on a weekly basis."
Istre says there is no one that is not going to get their full project, but it's going to take time and he's asking for patience.
Brides 2 On Your Side spoke with don't buy it, and say this has been going on for at least a year.
Britni Duplantis says her wedding was in January 2017 and according to her contract with Istre, the photos were due to her in May. The month passed and it took Duplantis going to Istre's house to get the raw files from him.
"We all tried working with him," she said.
The website for 63 Films says it's done weddings all over the country.
"He's doing it in Oregon as well, in Texas," said Landry.
"A lot of them haven't received a single photo," said Quintel. "They don't even know what their wedding looked like."
Istre says he has less than 50 projects to finish and that he's not taking on any new projects until he's done. He hopes that will be five months from now.
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